Thursday, July 23, 1998 Published at 21:07 GMT 22:07 UK
Iranian missile causes concern in US
President Clinton had expressed concern after Iran successfully tested a medium-range missile capable of reaching Israel, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region, as well as American forces in the Gulf.
President Clinton said he was 'concerned, but not surprised' by the news of the test, which he added could threaten the already fragile stability of the Middle East.
A senior US official told The New York Times that the missile was capable of altering the political and military balance of power in the region.
"This weapon would allow Iran to strike all of Israel, all of Saudi Arabia, most of Turkey and a tip of Russia," the official said.
The BBC Washington correspondent says the main concern in the US is that Iran might want eventually to develop a nuclear warhead, and extend its military influence in the region.
He says that Israel's response is also important. Although there is a large time-lag between missile tests and the deployment of any threatening weapons, he says Israel would not be expected to sit back and do nothing if a threat emerged.
Mr McCurry said the test was a source of concern to the US. He added that Iranian acquisition of North Korean technology was fully consistent with what the US had been worried about for some time.
The launch comes a month after the US and Iran agreed to work at improving relations in the wake of the victory of the moderate President, Mohammed Khatami, in last year's elections.
Iran, which has a well established Scud missile programme dating to the 1980s, is reported to be working on developing a nuclear warhead, but is believed to be years away from building a weapon.
However, the BBC Middle East correspondent says the idea of Iran suddenly attacking pro-Western Arab states is at the moment improbable.
Our correspondent says Tehran is engaged in a charm offensive towards some of its Arab neighbours and relations have warmed considerably.